A friend of mine got married yesterday. A group of us had been preparing for this wedding for several months, taking care of all the arrangements that might otherwise be dealt with by parents or wedding planners. But both of my friend's parents passed away years ago, and a professional wedding planner was not in the budget, so a group of us stepped in to do what needed to be done.
My role didn't involve much heavy lifting. I was the graphic designer, creating an image that we used on all of the invitations and the cake itself - my friend, her son, and her fiance/husband in the central portion of an inverted trinity knot
, with smaller symbols representing each of them tucked into the three lobes. (This image came to me in an eyeblink, but it took the better part of a morning to sketch it out on paper to explain it to my friends. And creating the trinity knot with the specific geometry I needed - a large open area in the center and three smaller open lobes - took a bit of finagling. And it didn't hit me until just now that the trinity knot - a traditional Irish symbol - was appropriate because my friend is, in fact, Irish
. Duh. My subconscious mind is always a bit more on-the-ball than my conscious one.)
I also created two mix discs for the wedding, only one of which we wound up using. There were so many musicians at the wedding, which had been advertised as "open mic", that (other than during dinner) there were no lengthy gaps that needed to be filled with recorded music.
I also served my usual role of floating photographer. And I briefly served as videographer, using the same borrowed full-size VHS camcorder that I used to record the final 3 Brix Shy
show. Unfortunately, an equipment malfunction cut this short during the cake-cutting - the camcorder is fine
(I think) but I need to get a new quick-release mount for my tripod. Luckily, there were several other people armed with camcorders there, so maybe we'll be able to assemble a semi-complete wedding video from multiple sources.
The wedding was fun, and beautifully decorated thanks to other friends who did the vast majority of the hard work. The food was great, the music was fun and was enjoyed by people ranging from 16 to 65 (I can't vouch for the two 7-year olds who were there, or the kid who looked to be about 12.) It was neat to see my friends dancing, even though I played the role of the wallflower
again. And I was glad to finally get a chance to see my friend's new husband play guitar.
At the end of the night, I hung out to help clean up, and got a new appreciation for what janitors go through.
Yesterday morning there was a story in the news about a trucker who had lost control of his rig on a nearby stretch of highway and had been killed. I didn't pay much attention to this - there are a lot of trucks on the highways around here, and my primary concern is not getting killed by
them, especially not by the ones who like to tailgate my little subcompact at distances of just a few feet. Every year I see articles that advise drivers to give truckers a wide berth
. Unfortunately, the lawmakers and state police don't seem to be in agreement with the physics required to make this happen, which would involve creating a variable speed limit for non-truckers based on the speed of the truck that's following you plus the speed necessary to create a safety cushion of distance between the back of your car and the front of the truck.
Later in the day I found out that the trucker who was killed Thursday was someone I met at a party this past Sunday.
Met, talked with, drank with, laughed with, argued with.
I didn't get to know him - I only knew his first name (which, in fact, was his middle
name, which is probably why the name in the newspaper article didn't ring any bells), his speech patterns, and some of his expressed opinions. This isn't a punch-in-the-gut sort of thing for me, more a sort of well-whaddya-know
thing. Just one of those things. Here today, gone tomorrow. Carpe diem
. Could happen to any of us.
I grew up around death. My grandmother's sister died when I was four, my grandfather when I was six, and my grandmother's brother when I was eight. I was an altar boy for my Roman Catholic parish from the age of six. (I was going to say "since First Grade", but that might be meaningless for readers in other countries.) Like most altar boys, I spent more time in funeral homes and around dead bodies than most kids. I think you get a better appreciation for mortality when you're being pulled out of class once a month to put on your cassock
and fire up the censer
and go for a visit to the funeral home, a quick stop at the church, and then a slow ride to the cemetery to stand next to a freshly-dug hole.
Still, it certainly was one of those things. Most of us who sat around a table at the party with the trucker last Sunday found ourselves at a table together at the wedding yesterday. The expressions of "take care" and "drive safely" at the end of the night were perhaps a little more heartfelt.
I wonder about death and the internet sometimes. If someone you know only through a blog or a screen name dies, how will you know it's happened? One of my favorite bloggers stopped posting for a few weeks last year, and I began to worry that something had happened to her. Luckily, I was able to find out through one of her fellow-bloggers that she was fine and had just decided to take some time off. But a few years ago another friend of mine lost touch with one of her internet chat buddies, and discovered only months after the fact that this was because he had died.
I've made arrangements, sort of. My username and password for this site are kept in a book in an obvious location, and I'm hoping that if something should happen to me, certain people might go through that book, find those passwords, and figure out how to post a final message.
How freaking morbid. I don't think I'm going to be permitted to die anytime soon, if ever. No way I'm getting out of this life that
Drive safely, everybody.